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The Llewellyn Journal
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Walking The Well Worn Path

This article was written by Raven Grimassi & Stephanie Taylor
posted under Tarot

In ancient times our ancestors lived in harmony with the ways of Nature. As hunters and farmers they enjoyed an intimate relationship with the cycles of the seasons. It was a time when humankind lived in common cause with Nature. When we examine the ancient writings left to us, we discover a wealth of wisdom and philosophy that is rooted in the insights of those who embraced a natural life.

A spiritual or religious path arises from a connection to the source of the divine. It is dependent upon the relationship that sustains this connection, as well as upon that which establishes the connection itself. At the core of this we find the importance of interfacing. Just as a keyboard and mouse allow us to interface with a computer, we also have spiritual tools that serve to connect us to the divine source that gave birth to humankind.

Many modern Earth-based religious systems use ritual tools as a means of interfacing and communicating with divinity. The most common are the pentacle, wand, athame, and chalice. These tools help create sacred space, invoke deity, and serve as channels of magical energy. They have been used for centuries by those who came before us, and are an important and vital legacy.

In the busy days of modern life it can be very challenging to find time to devote to spiritual and religious practices. Sometimes various events and situations can make us feel that little is within our control. It is at such times that we can turn to the wisdom of ancestors.

Picture a well-trod path winding its way through a field of golden grain. This is the path that our ancestors walked, and it leads from their vision into the future. In modern Paganism, Wicca, and Witchcraft there are many images and concepts that preserve the ancient wisdom. To aid you in using these in your practices, a unique deck of cards is now available.

Unlike the traditional Tarot, The Well Worn Path is not rooted in Hebrew mysticism or ceremonial magic. Instead the images and concepts are derived from pre-Christian European religious and magical concepts. One of the unique features of this deck is its triple usage. The Well Worn Path deck is a divination deck, teaching aid, and ritual kit.

For divination, the deck presents the forty foundational concepts of Paganism, Wicca, and Witchcraft. Each card conveys a divinatory meaning. The deck is not divided into suits, but instead the cards are a series of connected concepts that vitalize each image. Another unique aspect of The Well Worn Path is the inclusion of card spreads, including the pentagram layout, the crossroads design, and the cauldron spread.

The Well Worn Path is ideal for teachers, as the deck provides a separate image for each concept found in Paganism, Wicca, and Witchcraft. A teaching curriculum can be designed around each card in order to instruct new students. At the completion of training, the cards can be used in a "flash card" fashion in order to evaluate the student’s retention and understanding.

As a ritual kit, the deck can be used to perform Full Moon and Sabbat rites, and aids in the casting of spells. Included in the kit is an instructional book that serves as a guide to creating rituals. The book includes a Full Moon ritual using the cards, and a guided meditation using the cards for prosperity and other personal desires. Using the sample rituals, you can easily create your own.

The Well Worn Path deck is ideal for solitary practice and is easily transportable. The cards can be used in a bedroom, hotel, or in other private settings. They can also be used in public areas, such as on a picnic table in a park, without drawing any unwanted attention.

Because the deck includes an altar card, Goddess and God images, the four elemental cards, and the four ritual tool images, it can be used for private rituals and magical workings. This makes the deck ideal for everyone, including those with special circumstances such as military personnel on base or at sea, individuals who are incarcerated in prison, and people living with others in a conservative household.

An important feature of The Well Worn Path is its simplicity. The images in the deck are those already known to Pagans, Wiccans, and Witches. This reduces, and in many cases eliminates, the need to memorize the card meanings. The companion book also features a fictional story that leads the reader through the imagery of each card. By simply reading the story, the essence of the card meanings is imprinted upon the memory.

Just as our ancestors used myth and legend to preserve the ancient teachings, The Well Worn Path continues this mystical tradition. Now you can walk the ancient path in the present day. In time you will extend the well worn path for those who follow behind you, blazing your own trail as you continue on your personal journey. With this kit, the door is open and the tools are in hand.


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